Security breaches are on the rise in SC, here’s how to protect yourself

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — Security breach numbers are on the rise in South Carolina with more than half a million of South Carolinians affected in the past three months, according to the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA).

From July 2019 to October 2019, records show that at least 595,344 consumers had their private information breached. From social security numbers, full name, date of birth, usernames, passwords, credit and debit card information are examples of date obtained.  This is a 316% increase from January 2019 to June 2019.

SCDCA are providing ways to protect your information by doing the following below:

  • Watch out for phishing attempts.
    • Asking for personal or sensitive information via a phone call, text or email is a tactic used by scammers.  Never reply to texts, pop-ups or emails that ask for verification of personal information. Avoid clicking on links or attachments from suspicious emails or texts.
  • Monitor your credit report and financial statements/accounts.
    • Check all monthly statements and account activity. You can obtain your FREE credit reports by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or calling (877) 322-8228. Review your statements and credit report for unauthorized purchases/accounts and suspicious items.
  • Consider a fraud alert and security freeze.
    •  Prevent scammers from opening new accounts using your information by placing a FREE fraud alert and/or security freeze on your credit reports. A fraud alert tells a business accessing your report to take extra steps to verify that you are the one seeking its goods/services. When a security freeze is in place, no one can access your report without your OK. 
    • Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies to place an alert and contact each of them to place a freeze: Equifax (800) 685-1111, Experian (888) 397-3742 and TransUnion (888) 909-8872.
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